Divers work to free whale caught by line

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The Independent Online

Expert divers were yesterday trying to free a humpback whale which has become entangled in rope near the bay of Orra Wick on the north-east side of Shetland.

The mammal is entangled in a creel line, a rope attached to cages on the seabed used to catch lobsters and crabs. The whale is estimated to be about 12 metres long and weigh 30 tonnes.

Alan Knight, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: "The clever bit is actually understanding how the rope is trapping the animal and then cutting it and letting the animal swim away."

The divers were trained at the Centre for Coastal Studies in Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, helping to free grey whales caught in lines.